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Episode D9: Sand
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BLAKESCREWE



Joined: 16 May 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janov Seldon wrote:
Do you actually like any B7?


Yeah - but not Sand - or Sarcophagus !
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Sand a lot. Its the only 'Sleer' story that does anything remotely interesting with her and it certainly is Jackie Pearce's strongest peformance of the season. The episode elaborates on the hints droped in Pressure Point and Rumours that Servalan is a very damaged person. Some of her backstory also seem to have been influenced by Jackie's own life - she was by all accounts good friends with Tanith Lee and they had many conversations about this script.

There is a lot more subtlety in the use of the character than was the case with Games or Traitor. When she first finds herself on the planet, she is very self-confident. The death of the trooper does not disturb her and she is more than capable of standing her ground against a psycho with a gun. The way she delivers the line that she is 'unique' suggests she is just as delusional as Avon. However, after she has discovered Keller's corpse, she becomes more uneasy, visibly flinching when the food machine activates. Hiting Keller's corpse is probably a release of emotions that have been burried since she was 18.

If Servalan had to come back after Terminal (and I still think it was a mistake) then this should have been her last episode. Gold and Warlord didn't have anything new for her and Orbit dragged her further down the rout of camp carricature that just wasn't right for the character. To have seen her crying as she realizes that anyone she gets close to she will ultimately have to kill would be a very satifying way for her to exit.

Steve Pacey is also very good in this one, giving his strongest peformance since Death Watch. Tarrant is cynical and smart but, like his brother, he still holds to certain ideals. His weakness is not, as he claims a reluctance to shoot a stationary target but a yearning for a damsel in distress. Tarrant wants to be a heroic knight, saving a beautiful woman from strange monsters. It is a totally different sort of idealism to that of Blake who wanted to be the saviour of an entire galaxy.

The Tarrant/Servalan kiss (and the fact they obviously have sex) has upset some fans, but I don't see that it is so out of character. Certinly Servalan has shown a fondness for younger, 'decorative' men in the past - Rai for example. Tarrant for his part is in a situation that must seem straight out of his daydreams. The fact that it is an enemy just increases the emotional intensity.

Their conversation over the meal is well written and played, with both being aware of the absurdity of their situation. Their is a playfullness between them that was absent in the more intense, slightly S/M scenes between Avon and Servalan in Season 3.

The idea of the vampiric sand is unusual and, like the themes of Sacophogus, very different to what is expected in B7. Such semi-mystic notions would seem to have more place in a dark fairy tale themed show like Doctor Who than in a series where all the heroes wind up dead. However, it is refreshing and, like other odities such as Gambit, means this episode has an unusual atmosphere. It's a pity that Lee never got to write a Soolin focussed episode, as I think she would have done some interesting things with her.

On the subject of Soolon, its striking that she raises the possibility that the alien from Sacophogus has cursed the crew. She later dismisses the idea saying she doesn't believe a word of it, but still....could a case be made?

After Sacophogus, Tarrant's brother dies, the Liberator and Zen are destroyed, Cally dies, Dayna's former lover is gunned down in front of her eyes, Avon's schemes just make his enemies more powerful and finally of course, they are all killed by a squad of gaurds ho probably don't even know who the hell they are shooting at. This is fairly typical of the existentialist themes of the series of course, but maybe the alien had powers we didn't know about?

There's a neat bit of forshadowing of the crew;s fate when Vila complains that no-one cared when Cally died and that if he died it would be 'a joke'.
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BLAKESCREWE



Joined: 16 May 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don`t like it !
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inge



Joined: 16 May 2004
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things that I like about this episode are:
Inspector Reeve who realises who Sleer is, their confrontation is a high point for me.
The 'dominant male' line from Avon, when Vila falls ill.
Servalan and the girl next door line, I love it.
As it turned out, in real life they did live next door to each other.
Dayna tells Avon that she trusts him and he replies: "I must be slipping"
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thunda



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cockroach Boy wrote:

On the subject of Soolon, its striking that she raises the possibility that the alien from Sacophogus has cursed the crew. She later dismisses the idea saying she doesn't believe a word of it, but still....could a case be made?

After Sacophogus, Tarrant's brother dies, the Liberator and Zen are destroyed, Cally dies, Dayna's former lover is gunned down in front of her eyes, Avon's schemes just make his enemies more powerful and finally of course, they are all killed by a squad of gaurds ho probably don't even know who the hell they are shooting at. This is fairly typical of the existentialist themes of the series of course, but maybe the alien had powers we didn't know about?

I thought that part with Soolin was the most chilling scene in the episode.Vila getting very upset possibly because he remembers he had a chance to save Cally but opted for self presevation instead? Her theory isn't as far fetched as some people might think.I've seen villains come back from the dead in comics repeatedly.If her essence returned into the ring,and the ring wasn't totally destroyed,and Vila kept the ring? Hmmm,wonder if any fanfic was written about this?
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Servalans Hair



Joined: 12 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better than sarcophagus...
Was interesting to see Servalans vulnerable side, and you begin to feel sorry for her, but then she's back to her good old ways by the end of the episode!
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inge



Joined: 16 May 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thunda said:
Quote:

I thought that part with Soolin was the most chilling scene in the episode.Vila getting very upset possibly because he remembers he had a chance to save Cally but opted for self presevation instead? Her theory isn't as far fetched as some people might think.I've seen villains come back from the dead in comics repeatedly.If her essence returned into the ring,and the ring wasn't totally destroyed,and Vila kept the ring? Hmmm,wonder if any fanfic was written about this?


There is a story almost exactly along those lines, except that the essence of the ring is malevolent, unlike Cally and Avon wears the ring unaware of its influence on him. It is a way of explaining some of the things that went wrong in S4. The story also continues after GP.
The story is called: "Return To Action" by Kelson Vibber and is in Gambit 11.
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Tim Squad



Joined: 01 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit to slow this ep for my taste, maybe I must view it again to get the full story. Fun thing was Orac speaking gibberish! He was certainly out of character but what caused it?
Observation:
If there was a virus on the planet why didn't Servalan and her crew wore protective clothes? Ofcourse a space suit on 'Servie' wouldn't look fashionable/sexy.
I remember having read in a TV guide that Steven Pacey had a real life relationship with one of the crew -Josette Simon?- but here I read Jacky Pearce was his neighbour?
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ZEN



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Squad wrote:
I remember having read in a TV guide that Steven Pacey had a real life relationship with one of the crew -Josette Simon?- but here I read Jacky Pearce was his neighbour?


It was infact Glynis Barber he had a relationship with After they broke up, she later started dating Michael Brandon from Dempsey & Makepeace, whom she's still married to Yes Smiley
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Tim Squad



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZEN wrote:
Tim Squad wrote:
I remember having read in a TV guide that Steven Pacey had a real life relationship with one of the crew -Josette Simon?- but here I read Jacky Pearce was his neighbour?


It was infact Glynis Barber he had a relationship with After they broke up, she later started dating Michael Brandon from Dempsey & Makepeace, whom she's still married to Yes Smiley


Ah I see thanx for the info.
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MagnusGreel



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all these years, it was only with tonight's viewing that it hit me: If the sand is destroyed by the least little bit of H20, then how were they able to consume human beings who (as is often pointed out in SF) consist mostly of water? The sand seems to insist on nice, plump, moisture-rich corpses too. Drying out from the passage of time isn't permitted. Oops.

I think Soolin's "theory" about the Sarcophagus being still hovering around doing mischief was a nonsensical, embarrassing, forced reference of Tanith Lee's to her own earlier episode. Soolin's smarter than that. She also would be the last person present to harken back to that incident, since she wasn't there. Besides, I'm just never going to be friendly to a supernatural sort of idea intruding into science fiction, without a solid SF justification. That's one reason I'm not on the worshipping bandwagon for the current version of Doctor Who.

Good episode, despite bits of nonsense. Odd that the planet has a breathable atmosphere, without life as we know it. The pilot was the actor who played the weaselly retirement home manager in the UK sitcom "Waiting For God". I hate these ridiculous uniforms... are they supposed to be Federation policemen, as opoosed to soldiers?
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ZEN



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MagnusGreel wrote:
I hate these ridiculous uniforms... are they supposed to be Federation policemen, as opoosed to soldiers?
Suppose they could have been Federation policemen of sorts, those costumes were used previously in The Harvest Of Kairos by the Kairopan guards on the shuttle.
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Lucifer Sam



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inge wrote:
Things that I like about this episode are:
Inspector Reeve who realises who Sleer is, their confrontation is a high point for me.
The 'dominant male' line from Avon, when Vila falls ill.
Servalan and the girl next door line, I love it.
As it turned out, in real life they did live next door to each other.
Dayna tells Avon that she trusts him and he replies: "I must be slipping"


Couldn't have put it better myself; these are some of the reasons I also like this episode.

Another one is the look the rest of the crew give Tarrant at the end, when they realise what he got up to whilst on the planet.
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Janov Seldon



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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MagnusGreel wrote:
After all these years, it was only with tonight's viewing that it hit me: If the sand is destroyed by the least little bit of H20, then how were they able to consume human beings who (as is often pointed out in SF) consist mostly of water? The sand seems to insist on nice, plump, moisture-rich corpses too. Drying out from the passage of time isn't permitted. Oops.


The sand wasn't eating people, but draining energy - hence Vila being more tired than usual. They also preserved the flesh, hence nice moist corpses sitting about five years later. Mind, even that doesn't explain the fact that on death, all the muscles loosen and any liquids just drain out.
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MagnusGreel



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janov Seldon wrote:

The sand wasn't eating people, but draining energy - hence Vila being more tired than usual. They also preserved the flesh, hence nice moist corpses sitting about five years later. Mind, even that doesn't explain the fact that on death, all the muscles loosen and any liquids just drain out.


Oops.
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